The life of any organization begins with the right people that the business owner hires. How they interact with each other, the degree to which they influence or support those that surround them, the amount of time they spend together doing whatever it takes to produce the desired results will depend on selecting the people with the right attitudes, qualifications and abilities. Without the right people, any organization is bound to fail and fail it will, disastrously. It cannot be left to chance or to the whims of those from the human resources department. There has to be a measure, a gauge that will help separate the best from the mediocre.
Finding the right mix of people with the required skills and talents is a tricky business in itself. You cannot simply rely on generalized tests that say a person is perfect for the job because he or she has passed certain aptitude or psychological tests. While these tests are good indicators of what generally are considered ideal, hiring the appropriate person for the present job relies a lot on whoever is interviewing the candidates. Any impression the candidate makes on the interviewer is bound to affect the final decision whether he or she is going to be hired, no matter what the tests says. The interviewer will rely on a job description to formulate the questions that will bring out the desired responses from the candidates. Only an effective job description can be a useful tool for this purpose. Without one, no organization can find the right person among the candidates, no matter how numerous they may be.
So what are the features of an effective job description? It usually begins with an in-depth analysis of the position that has to be filled up. It explains in exact terms the tasks involved, the processes used to accomplish the tasks, the needed qualifications, the responsibilities involved and their purpose. It also describes the relationship of this particular job with other existing jobs.
An effective job description is seen as a dynamic, current and functional piece of document. It grows with the job and adapts to the needs the rise out of the performance of the job. The opposite of an effective job description is a poorly written document that becomes out of touch from the real world job – employees are left in the dark as to what their job’s purpose and direction is all about; they are kept from trying new approaches in performing and accomplishing their assigned tasks. With a well written job description, all that an employee will do is counted towards the completion of the job, where no employee can complain that what he or she is being told to do is “not part of my job descriptions.”
There are several reasons why job descriptions are dynamic – employees grow personally and gain other competencies; the organization itself develops into a more sophisticated entity, perhaps by going global or by the merging of departments within the organization; by adopting new technologies that enable rapid communication and product development. A flexible job description will ensure that employees are given a chance to develop along with the company and diversify their qualifications which will eventually benefit the company as a whole.